Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stick A Fork In It-Part 2

I finished the plain socks-got a pic before washing and will get another one after wash.  Like them-they fit well-whew!  That's it for my socks this year.  Unless I get high behind and finish the giraffe socks!
And we will see about that.  I think that it is 8 pairs this year.  Maybe 9, but I think 8.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stick A Fork In It-It's Done!

My handspun yarn from Crown Mountain Farms-100% merino.  I used 1197 yards of handspun on size 5 needles for the body-size 3 for ribbing.  It is Anne Hanson's pattern-Aztec Mazes.  I started in April and finished November 26.  I am calling it at 71/2 months.
Things I really liked about this sweater-
1- The softness of the merino yarn.
2- The neckline is perfect on me.
3- The armhole technique was unique. 

The pattern was challenging, but very, very well written.  I will sing the praises of this designer.  She obviously knows how to make things as if she were designing for clothing.  I know she has a background in fashion design and it shows.

I am quite proud of myself, and this year's sweater is done. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Spiraling Dance of the Seasons

CJE and I got together and had another dye day.  She was so excited to have a new dyepot-a big ole turkey cooker like mine-and we had to try it out.  She got this lovely red stuff.  JE came over later and we dyed some of her stuff up too.  The blue is from the dye day two weeks ago.  I never did post pics for that.

We are gearing up to go to Hot Springs for the Arkansas Fiber Extravaganza.  I have been saving my money for that.  I have been really good to resist the impulsive buying of stuff online.  I have a bad habit of seeing something and getting it right then.  I am waiting until I can support the vendors at the show.

I heard a wonderful phrase yesterday that stuck in my mind-coupe de coeur.  It means something you fall in love with immediately-not necessarily an impulse, but close.    You just know it is the right thing immediately.

Tomorrow CF is coming into town to eat dinner with her daughter and grandsons.  But she decided she would spend the night with me.  That way she can relax and go to bed early.  She will be spending the day with the boys on Friday and half a day on Saturday before going home.  It exhausts her to spend so much time with young boys who wrestle and are interactive, but she loves them so much it hurts.

I am being my quiet self, working on my gratitude prayers, and happy to just sit and knit.  It has been so gloomy and rainy and chilly.  Today is sunny, warmer, and Spring again.  It is a good day to be outside more. 

I am about 1 inch from finishing the back of my sweater.  Yeah!  Today I can knock that out.  Then sew it up, put on the neck band, and voila! done, done, done.  Yeah!  I already have another one in line waiting to be cast on.  But it can wait until I catch up a little bit with some other projects.

I have been spinning yellow yarn.  It is so gorgeous.  I dyed it with goldenrod.  It is the creamiest butter yellow.  Gorgeous!

And today is a grooming day for Patty too.  I got her reservation for doggie day care while I am gone.  She has had her bordatella snort, and I am glad she will be well cared for.  She is so happy to see me when I pick her up it is well worth it. 

So Happy Thanksgiving.  Thank you for reading.  It is time to go outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Patty is ready to go for a walk.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Delightful Weather!

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

What weird and delightful weather this week has been. Yes, we have seen tornadoes, thunder storms, and other indications of Springtime in Autumn, and yes, there have been earthquakes in Oklahoma that were felt here. But it has been so warm that I have opened up the house to air it out. I have had time this week to clean the gutters, mow and mulch the leaves in the yard, and run all the gas out of the two lawnmowers. I have washed rugs and blankets and aired other things outside.

I think it is most important to know that this is only temporary, and that things will change. But I am enjoying the time I can outside.

Today I have spent most of the day out on the deck with one of my spinning wheels. It was lovely to sit in the warm sun and let the wind blow all around me. At one time I had two butterflies flit up to my wheel and stop to see if there was a flower there. The yarn is colorful, but not so tasty.

I am so very close to finishing the front yoke of my handspun sweater. I keep measuring, and as per normal knitting, it is not moving along fast enough. I picked up the giraffe sock the other day and did several more rows of that. I am so anxious to start my next project, but I am making myself finish up some of these projects.

I finished my order for the handspun yarn early last week. I was so happy to get that done. It was delivered on Saturday. Whew! I am not going to get behind again. I don't want it to be so much like work. So last night I spun up one bobbin of my goldenrod dyed BFL. I decided to spin up one more bobbin of my yarn for the sweater in progress. So today's spinning was to do that. Tonight I will ply it and tomorrow I can get it on the blocker.

I know that there are two days of rain this week. So I think I will knit during that time. I am just enjoying the warm outside while I can.

Last weekend CJE came over to overdye some yarn she wants to make AE a sweater. She bought some brown and cream barber-pole yarn, and he did not like it. She knit up a swatch to show him, and he still didn't care for it. So we got out the big dyepot, added some Gaywool, and it is gorgeous now. It is now a deep slate-gray blue and a lighter blue where the cream was. It is knitting up really nice, and he likes it. My motto is "If you don't like a yarn, just overdye it." It works most every time.

I am getting a little bit excited about the Fiber deal in Hot Springs the first weekend of December. I am not buying anything online, and I am saving my money. If I have any money left over after that weekend, I can buy stuff online. I am not too excited about Hot Springs. The only reason to go is to see people, and to be surrounded by fibery goodness. I love Fiber shows. It just gives me a chance to be with people who love the same things I do.

Noodles had his first anniversary of the broken leg. I am so thrilled he did not have any surgery, especially an amputation. The two big bones have fused into a weird bump, and occaisonally he limps. But he is killing things right and left, and still climbs trees. Not bad for an eleven-year-old kitty with a bum leg.

Patty is looking rather ragged without grooming. But I wanted her to have a longer coat for winter. I did get her down and trimmed her face, her nails, and some of longer hair. She likes colder weather, and she wants out all the time.

So we are just putzing around, getting things done before the cold sets in, and just enjoying the nice day. Noodles has gone out to the screened porch, and I am about to put some food in the oven for my evening meal.

Have a great week ahead.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Are You OCD?

This is just a little thought-are you OCD with your knitting? I am just going to give a few observations about people I watch knit.

I, personally, am OCD about details. I was taught by grandmothers and great-grandmothers that if you are making something, make it right. My great-grandmother that taught me to embroidery at age 5 would take my daily lesson and look at the back when I was finished. If it wasn't "right", she would take out the stitches and make me re-do the damn thing. I learned very quickly that it was best to do it "right" the first time.

Now 58 years later, I am not so meticulous about my embroidery. But I am finicky with my knitting or crochet. I want it "right". I may take something out several times until I am satisfied. When the shoulders didn't do "right" on the Jacob fleece sweater, I redid it twice. It drove me insane that I could never figure out how you do a sock gusset "in pattern" with the giraffe socks. Those darn Estonians-huh?

So today I am baking a cake, plying my yarn, and I just sat down for a quick sandwich. I then picked up my no-brainer scarf that is garter stitch. It is taking forever to get to 200 stitches. So just for fun-sies I decided to time myself knitted across 170 stitches with an increase at each end. 6 mins. I started to flag towards the end, because the dryer timer went off and I got distracted.

So this is a little extreme maybe. But not too bad an obsession. I just want things to be "right".
And that is my right, not anyone elses.

Now I have a friend who knits teeny lace, and occasionally big lace. But she can tell you exactly to the stitch how many stitches she has knit. And how many beads, etc. I don't have the math skills, and believe me, I have tried to think how one does calculate that.

I watched one friend fiddle around with tiny beads on a scarf she was knitting. Across the table another person was knitting the same scarf and not fiddling. There was a difference, but probably not to the average person. It is noticeable to some one who fiddles a lot.

And a couple weeks ago K at knit night was talking about how she didn't like the way the drop sleeve on her sweater was a little bit tight under the armpit. And that was the end of that discussion. I guess you know I wanted to rip it off her body and "fix" it. But I sighed and restrained myself.

So I am just curious how one becomes OCD with this stuff. Is it just a matter of training, or boredom, or what? I just know that I fudged one stitch on each side of my front and back yokes on the present sweater, and it is driving me nuts. But not enough to rip it out for the third time. In another year or so, I will forget that one stitch on both sides. There is an advantage to getting older.